Living in the resurrection – our own in Christ.

“Who Am I
Now that I have been raised?
United to the Uncreated One
I am filled with endless praise.”

For those who want the presence of God – reading this, my prayer, contains the hope that you will search the understanding of the glorious riches of God and draw near.

(All bolded scripture is for my own emphasis)

“So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up and out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Exodus 3:8

Upon awakening from our peaceful slumber, this is where we find ourselves. This is the land beyond the cross in which we now live, and in which we move along the path toward His glorious riches. But why are we here in this new place? And who are we? And who are we becoming?

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” We are where we are by the will of God. Nothing of our own making, just simply by the good pleasure of the Uncreated One…by His amazing grace.

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” Ephesians 1:1-10 NIV

With open hearts to receive His truth and beauty, let us walk through these words that God speaks to us.

If you were the one writing to God’s people, how would you identify yourself? “Your name, ———-by the will of God.” Lets read on before we answer that.

“To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus.” This salutation, in its specificity, also defines us. Holy People (or in some translations “saints”) are “pure, upright, worthy of God. God’s people, specifically marked by behavior exhibiting their dedication to God.” (Bibleworks) We are worthy to be in His presence. Since no darkness can exist in His perfect Light, we see we are made perfect in order to be in His presence. “God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through the belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV. Paul makes statements here. There is no question to be pondered or negotiated. This is me. This is you. The question is can we receive this truth and make it a part of our story?

But there is a second half of that statement. “The faithful in Christ Jesus.” Faithful is “trusting, believing, characterized by constancy.” (Bibleworks) We may not describe our faith this way, but this is how it looks to God. “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” Can we align our eyes to see what God sees? I think we must if we are ever to move forward in His will. But wait, there is more….

“In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.” Adoption is a term defined as “the sonship status bestowed on those who believe in Christ; the emphasis is on the full enjoyment of the privileges of legal heirs.” (Bibleworks) God takes on “the legal responsibilities as parent.” (The Free Dictionary by Farlex) Let that sink in for a moment…… For me, perhaps because it seems more tangible than some of the other verses, it gives a tremendous sense of security.

And if you need further convincing of your worth and your identity: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. Redemption is “the release of the body from earthly limitations and mortality liberation.” (Bibleworks) It is God, working through Christ, removing all the false masks we wear, breaking all our chains, moving us beyond the cross and returning us to our original state of being as children of God, set apart for His glory.

Let us not leave Christ hanging in vain but believe in who we are in Him: In Him, I Am.

So now, if we are the ones writing to God’s people, can we say, “We are God’s holy people; faithful in Christ by the will of God.”? We need to own that truth. Make it a part of our story if not the foundation, for, from this, all things flow. It is through the gifts of grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ we are made pure and return to our true selves, made in the image of God. This grace is not only to us, but it needs to go through us to others – “to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”

Take a moment to listen to or read the beautiful lyrics by Christy Nockels (Lullabies for the Beloved CD):  Always Remember to Never Forget.  I love this song.  It can easily be found on YouTube.

And the journey continues…….

 

Join me In His Words, The Power of Grace for further reflection.

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